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11 November 2015

Qluster:
Tasten (Bureau B)

Hans
Joachim-Roedelius’s reputation precedes him, a musician with a
storied history that began in 1969 as part of the space rock group
Kluster. Since then he’s carried the name with him through 2 other
carnations, Cluster (with Kluster’s Moebius) and, most recently,
Qluster, working currently as a trio with Onnen Bock and Armin Metz.
Whereas past Qluster efforts have incorporated his partners’ axes of
choice (keyboards/electronics and bass respectively), Tasten consists
solely of piano in its arrangements and intermingling layers. By
virtue of having three players on three pianos, it often has a
curious looping, pattern-weaving quality that is both hypnotic and
meditative, particularly on “Il Campanile.” In that particular
case, the piano is clear and straightforward, but in other instances
the trio tinkers with timbre and plucking to lend a distinctly
different dynamic to the proceedings. It feels as pastoral as its
title suggests, exuding the delicate beauty that Roedelius often has
conveyed in his playing across his broad body of work.

Beyond
Roedelius’s own vast repertoire, some obvious reference points would
be Erik Satie, perhaps the originator of this entire style of music,
and Roedelius’s contemporaries Brian Eno and Harold Budd (with both
of whom he’s collaborated in the past). Personally, I’d have enjoyed
more tracks like “Über den Dächern,” in which its varied
plucking and striking techniques lend it a different, more rhythmic
sensibility, but most of Tasten is quite reserved, focused on the
stark beauty of the piano for all of its traditional, grand glory.
It’s an almost inevitable distillation of the trajectory Roedelius
has been on all along, finally focusing on one of the most compelling
and charming elements of his musical toolkit with most utter
reverence.

Buy it: Tapete Shop | Bleep | Boomkat | iTunes | Amazon

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